Lebanon’s Public Transport Strike Paralyzes Several Areas

Lebanon’s public transportation sector held a nationwide strike on Thursday with some drivers blocking streets with burning tires in the northern province of Akkar.

The sector decided to hold the strike between 5:00 am and 12:00 pm after the government failed to place ceilings on the price of gasoline sold to drivers.

The strike was culminated by a demonstration that kicked off at the Cola roundabout and ended at the Grand Serail in Beirut around noon.

Voice of Lebanon radio station (93.3) said not all taxi drivers abided by the strike in Beirut as cabs were seen throughout the streets of the Lebanese capital.

But buses and trucks lined on the Dora roundabout starting 5:00 am, causing severe traffic.

In Akkar, the drivers blocked several of the area’s main roads by burning tires and shouted slogans to urge the government to meet their demands, the National News Agency reported.

Their action caused bumper-to-bumper traffic and prevented the majority of students and employees from reaching their destinations.

Also in the north, the port city of Tripoli witnessed blocking of roads to protest the spiraling rise in fuel prices.

The sector was also on strike in the southern city of Tyre as drivers headed early in the morning with their vehicles to the Serail to make their voices heard.

The head of the union of taxi drivers in the South, Qassem Shebli, told NNA that the situation has become intolerable.

“We are not asking for the impossible. On the contrary, we call for the implementation of the law … to put a ceiling on the price of gasoline sold to all the Lebanese,” he said.

The sector warned that it would resort to an open-ended strike on May 14 if its demands were not met.

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